Top Retail Warehousing Issues (And How to Avoid Them)

Every industry has its hiccups, from retail to dining to entertainment and beyond. You may not be able to bypass all of these potential problems, but you can try to prepare for them ahead of time. If something goes wrong, the results will be minimal. Here are the top retail warehousing issues and some tips to help you avoid them.

Flexibility for Seasonal Demand Changes

For retail warehousing to truly work, the warehouse itself needs to be able to accommodate seasonal shifts in product demands. Some third party logistics providers specialize in non-seasonal industries – those that have a consistent amount of products all year long. Retailers need more flexibility than that though. They need a warehouse that can hold their massive pre-holiday inventory, manage their Black Friday shipping needs, and scale back after the New Year.

At Overflo, we provide scalable warehousing solutions for retailers of all sizes. We know how to handle these drastic shifts in inventory levels, and we have real-time inventory management solutions to keep you updated throughout the process. Before you decide which warehouse to work with, make sure they have the flexibility to accommodate your sales fluctuations.

Slow Picking Speeds

If a warehouse does not have the right inventory management system in place, they may struggle to pick orders in a timely manner. Every extra minute spent on one order adds up. Eventually, that translates into more orders getting pushed to the next day or more time the warehouse has to pay employees to work.

If you are using order fulfillment services from your warehouse, make sure they can complete tasks in a timely manner. You need to be able to accurately predict when orders will be sent out or when new inventory will be shipped to your store. At Overflo, we use state-of-the-art software to help our pickers find products quickly and easily in the warehouse. Everything is tracked, categorized, and easy to access so your orders can be completed without issues.

Lack of Communication

Communication is crucial in all areas of business development, but it is particularly critical in warehousing. Retailers can warn warehouses about major inventory shifts before they happen so the warehouse can staff itself accordingly. On the other hand, warehouses can warn retailers about potential delays in orders so they can inform their customers.

The solution here is simple – don't work with a warehouse you don't feel comfortable communicating with. You should have constant access to information about your inventory levels, order statuses, shipping times, and more. If you aren't getting that kind of information from your current 3PL provider, contact Overflo so we can get you on the path to success.

Inefficient Organization

The way products are stored in a warehouse makes a big difference in picking times and other areas of order fulfillment. Products that are frequently shipped should be easier to access than products that do not sell often. Items should be grouped into categories to reduce confusion, and everything should be clearly labeled. If you are interviewing a potential warehousing provider, ask for a tour of their facility to see how efficiently they work.

The best way to avoid warehousing issues is to work with a warehouse that understands the needs of the retail industry.

Contact Overflo today to learn more about our retail warehousing solutions.

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